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Monk: Looking for ways to improve my AC

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Master of Nuhn, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    It makes sense. But why then do they get bonuses from magic gloves for all attacks? Their feet arn`t wearing gloves with +2 fire damage.
     
  2. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The rules set isn't perfect. But it is still usable and very enjoyable. Plus, it's fantasy, so you are supposed to ignore some of the "over-looked" instances. :D
     
  3. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I don't know to which gloves you are referring -- Gloves that give a Strength bonus give that bonus to the whole body, as do boots or other items that give Dex bonuses. As for the fire issue, or any other energy form damage, it'd simple enough to house rule that the Monk either has to have one hand free or wielding a 2 handed weapon to inflict energy damage with an unarmed strike (taking one hand off the 2 hander for those strikes).

    I don['t see the Monk as too munchkin. He is primarily a melee combatant, yet he has no armour (and his armour bonuses for a good chunk of his career still don't measure up to heavier armour). In addition, his average Base Attack Bonus really packs when you consider that he's going to be going up against perople with Good Base Attack Bonuses. He's feat starved, and so has to invest a good chunk of his feats in defensive ones, in order to stay alive, so he really has a hard time being a damage dealing powerhouse.

    Later on he does seem pretty powered up, but he still must contend with low BAB. Given that his class abilities are all over the map in terms of requisite basic abilities, he can't really pour all of his energy into one attribute (WIS, for example) and expect to just mow over everyone. He faces tough tradeoffs everywhere he goes.

    Still, I don't think he's underpowered, despite Belkar's somewhat negative assessment of monks in "On the Origin of PCs." I think a properly built Monk would beat the living tar out of Belkar. At higher levels, that is!

    BTA, that was the purpose of my quote, you had it bang on. My next post was to illustrate a slightly different issue as raised by others, the issue of NOT having that monk weapon drawn at the commencement of a Flurry and then drawing it and using it.

    If you read on in the PHB, it even gives an example of Ember striking with her quarterstaff and unarmed strikes during a single flurry.

    I envision a Monk with a longspear sometimes bracing the butt of that spear on the ground and then putting a wicked kick with both feet in the air, holding the longspear with both hands. Very acrobatic, very kung fu, very cinematic.

    I recall a Jackie Chan movie where he fought a guy underneath a train using a spear. It was a kickass sequence. Wish I could remember the movie!
     
  4. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Hmm, I think there was a train something in Legend of the Drunken Master, but I'm pretty sure I don't remember any spears there.

    Anyway, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the shield spell - in the case of the monk, accessible via potions. As far as I see it's not mentioned in the potions list in the SRD, but the spell meets the criteria - casting time under a minute, sure :) . As a monk, that's an easy, short-term +4 to AC that stacks with your other bonuses. Don't bother with mage armor potions though, in the long term it's not worth it - just buy the wizard a pearl of power for a 1st level spell (1k gold, not that expensive for your level) and get a mage armor subscription from him/her. At these levels, it should last practically all day or until dispelled. Also, in combat you should have a +1 to AC due to haste, which your wizard should definitely have, and use often. Definitely look into wisdom-enhancing gear, as well as strength and constitution if you can - consider checking for multiple ability boosting items. With an AC in the low- to mid-20s, you are fairly well off for that level. BTW, I think natural armor enhancers - such as barkskin - do stack with your "racial" natural armor. Do check though, I haven't used that rule soon and your DM might disagree.


    Now, make sure you don't sacrifice too much offensive power for safety - otherwise you will just be of little use to the party. You're not a great skillmonkey, you can't cast, so your job is basically to hurt those who need hurtin'. Definitely keep a serious strength score, both for damage and tripping. Apart from that, play tactically. A longspear is actually pretty good if you can flurry with it - you get the benefits of reach without any of the drawbacks, as you can still use elbows, kicks, knees, headbutts and more if someone gets too close. The reach allows you additional safety as you can attack from behind another character, like the fighter. Add in a few enlarge persons thrown around (another staple wizard buff), and you threaten a 20-foot area and can wreak havok with AoOs (presuming you took combat reflexes for your level 2 feat). Anyone who wants to get to you will have to suffer several AoOs - and by the way, with the Stand Still feat from EPH (the feat doesn't require you to be psionic) they might not get to you at all. Combat expertise is not that good for you imo - the monk has some problems with his offense (compared to other melee characters), no need to add to that and sink points in an score you see limited use of.

    As for not being a munchkin, you've chosen the wrong class to be one :) . Monks are tricky and need good gear to keep up imo.

    @ Drew: I'm really not a fan of losing an AC bonus for minor (1-3 points for most of the game) damage reduction. Actually, in my experience at higher levels 1-3 damage is fairly insignificant, compared to, say, +2/3 to AC. Sure, it depends on what you will most likely be fighting - hordes of mooks or a few strong hitters - but generally I doubt how useful DR 3/- will be in combat around level 9.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  5. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    You wouldn't just have DR/3, though. You're trading it out for barbarian damage reduction which, if I recall, is far more generous than that.
     
  6. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Not at those levels. At level 9, a barbarian has DR 1/-, which is fairly unimpressive. They don't get DR 4/- until level 16. Overall, the AC bonus a monk gets is pretty close to the barbarian's DR.
     
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